Survive the Savage Sea
Dougal Robertson

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This is another book which, to me, illustrates the importance of having a sailing life dinghy.  While it is important to remember that it is very rare that a reasonably built yacht sinks at sea, it can happen under unusual circumstances.  In this case the Robertson's boat was rammed by killer whales, probably in revenge for the killing of one of its brethren by some other vessel.  The Robertsons were left with very little resources in a dinghy and an inflatable liferaft.  The life raft soon disintegrated and it was evident that, being in the middle of the Pacific Ocean they had no recourse but to try to sail their dinghy across the Pacific to Central America.  After 38 days at sea with five people and a dog in a 9 foot dinghy they were picked up by a fishing boat.

In this book Dougal Robertson is brutally honest about what he did right and what he did wrong, but concludes that there was a very good chance that they could have made it the rest of the way to shore if they had had to.  While he describes in this book how they survived, anyone who reads this book and wishes to make best use of the Robertson's experiences should also try to get a copy of their survival manual "Sea Survival" in which they have gone on to research and codify all the techniques that no only saved their lives, but which could have helped them if they'd had the information at the time.

We aren't big on disaster books and "survival stories".  People tend to love dramatic stories of terrible things happening at sea when the reality is that you are in much more danger driving to the grocery store than you are at sea in a good boat.  Nevertheless, a good way to make things even safer and less worrisome is to read a book like this which teaches some worthwhile lessons.  We highly recommend both this book and "Sea Survival".  (217 pages) (tm)


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